In ,year old Sookan s homeland of North Korea is occupied by the Japanese Left behind while her resistance fighter father hides in Manchuria and her older brothers toil in Japanese labor camps, Sookan and her remaining family members run a sock factory for the war effort, bolstered only by the dream that the fighting will soon cease Sookan watches her people forced to renounce their native ways become increasingly angry and humiliated When war s end brings only a new type of domination from the Russian communists Sookan and her younger brother must make a harrowing escape across the th parallel after their mother has been detained at a Russian checkpoint Drawn partly from Choi s own experiences, her debut novel is a sensitive and honest portrayal of amazing courage In clear, graceful prose, she describes a sad period of history that is astonishing in its horror and heart wrenching in its truth Readers cannot fail to be uplifted by this account of the triumph of the human spirit in an unjust world Agesup CopyrightReed Business Information, IncGrade Ten year old Sookan tells of her Korean family s experiences during the Japanese occupation as World War II ends The Japanese commit cruel, fear provoking acts against this proud, hopeful family and against the young girls who worked in a sweatshop making socks for the Japanese army Relief, hope, and anticipation of the return of male family members after the Japanese defeat is short lived as the Russians occupy the country, bringing their language, their customs, and communism to the village Equally as insensitive to the pride and possessions of the Koreans, they are as bad as the Japanese Plans are made for Sookan, her mother, and younger brother to escape to South Korea However, their guide betrays them, causing the children to be separated from their mother, and the two begin a daring and frightening journey to cross the th parallel to safety Through Sookan, the author shares an incredible story of the love and determination of her family, the threatening circumstances that they endured during occupations by two totalitarian governments, and the risks they took to escape to freedom Readers will get a double bonus from this book a good story, well told, and the reaffirmation of our faith in the human spirit against incredible adversities Lydia Champlin, Beachwood City Schools, OHCopyrightReed Business Information, Inc